Banking Cord Blood Stem Cells (The What And The Why)
If you are pregnant, first of congratulations, we hope it is all going well for you. Secondly, you may have heard of cord blood banking. But … what is that? And why would you consider it? Fear not as hopefully by the end of this blog we can answer these questions for you.
Curious to learn the benefits of cord blood banking? Keep reading!
So, what is cord blood banking?
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting the leftover blood in the umbilical cord once your baby is born and the placenta is delivered. A phlebotomist will collect this blood so that you can store it.
You may be thinking “what is the point of that?”
Your baby’s cord blood is rich in stem cells. Stem cells can be used to treat over 80 conditions worldwide. These precious cells would normally end up as medical waste.
Conditions that currently use stem cells as a potential part of their treatment are…
Blood cancers such as Leukaemia
Blood disorders such as Anaemia
And more. There is also a lot of research and multiple clinical trials further proving the amazing abilities of stem cells.
Why store cord blood stem cells?
Storing your baby’s stem cells can be done via donation or private storage.
If you choose to donate the cord blood it goes to a public bank. Doing this allows people who are on a stem cell donation waiting list can potentially use the cord blood cells. Storing them this way will potentially help someone else in need. There are a limited number of hospitals that provide the collection service though. So, if you are thinking about donation, double check it is available.
Private cord blood banking gives your baby a lifelong safety net. Storing with a private company means you have exclusive access to the cells. Should your child or their sibling get ill they can get treatment quickly rather than waiting. Your child will have a 100% biological match and their siblings will have a chance of being even a partial match. Private storage does cost money but is more accessible. Most hospitals will allow you as the company you choose can provide a phlebotomist for you.
What about my birth plan?
The best thing about storing your cord blood, either through blood donation or private banking, is that it will work with your birth plan. It should work seamlessly with your other plans. Do you want to keep your placenta? You can. Are you choosing delayed or optimal cord clamping? This will reduce the volume of blood available to you but you can still store whatever is remaining.
Cord blood collection is also a non-invasive procedure. The collection happens in a separate room only after the baby and placenta are delivered so you can focus on your newborn.
Choosing to store is entirely up to you though. It could save a life one day. We hope that this blog at least filled in some of the blanks for you.
Before you go...
There are so many important choices to make when you have a baby, like the above. There's also a lot of money to spend when bringing a newborn into this world. To help you save money, check out this list of tips for how to avoid unnecessary spending when you have a newborn.